U.S. (MNN) – Suicide claims about 129 lives per day, making it the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. Many organizations hope to open up the conversation about suicide prevention during September, National Suicide Prevention Month. While there are a lot of ways to approach this issue, Set Free Ministries reminds believers that suicide is more than an emotional or physical battle.
Stemming From a Spiritual Struggle
Dean Vander Mey, Executive Director of Set Free Ministries, says suicidal thoughts and actions often result from spiritual attacks. From the beginning, Vander Mey explains, Satan has desired to destroy God’s creation, humanity.
Characterized as a thief in John 10:10, the Bible says that Satan comes “only to steal and kill and destroy.”
The devil wants to permanently keep people from God. But he is not all powerful. Vander Mey explains that Satan resorts to tricking people into thinking their lives are no longer valuable. Unfortunately, when they hear that lie often enough, people begin to believe it.
Finding the One Who Can Quiet the Storm
As a crisis center, Set Free Ministries usually is called in when Satan’s lies begin to take over and people are losing sight of reality. The lie that their life is not worth living is seeming to block out all truth.
“Sometimes when you’re in your crisis, you’re focused on the storm and you’re not focused on someone who can deliver you out of the storm. And so, when we’re helping people who are suicidal, they’re often overwhelmed with their current circumstances. And so, what you help them see is something beyond their current circumstances and that the Lord is able to get you through the storm and sometimes he can even quiet the storm.”
But seeing Christ as a Helper can be a hard place to reach. For many struggling with suicide, anger, shame and hopelessness keep them from seeing any piece of hope.
A Sudden Hope
Vander Mey recalled one woman he talked to who for years had struggled with the shame and anger of horrific past abuses. She was angry at the perpetrator, at her mom, at God and struggled with her own shame from the experiences. She wanted to end her life to stop struggling with the difficulties piled on her by that time of her life.
But God intervened during their conversations, and with time, her disposition changed.
“Because she finally knew she could not carry the load anymore that wasn’t hers to carry anyways. And all of a sudden, she had hope, hope for a new future. Now is it done? No, she needs lots of help. But all you know what? That was a reset that day. And all of a sudden she didn’t have to hit the exit button. She had hope for tomorrow. So, truth sets captives free.”
Over time, this woman began to understand God’s ability to heal and redeem her. But like her, people need someone to tell them of God’s love for them.
Binding up the Brokenhearted
Vander Mey says, “The church is the bride of Christ. We’re the hands and feet of Jesus. We’re supposed to be in the business of searching out the lost, bringing back strays and binding up the brokenhearted. That’s Ezekiel 34.”
Vander Mey encourages Christians to seek out those who are hurting. Open your eyes to see the pain of those close by and change your prayers.
“The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords sees all things. And if you start changing your prayers, of Lord I’m available for you to use me to search for the lost and to bind up the brokenhearted. Lord I’m available and I’m willing. Start to pray that prayer and see what happens. You might be shocked.”
If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, ask God to intervene in your thoughts and show you truth. Contact Set Free Ministries today to learn about the ultimate healer and comforter.
If you aren’t sure how to help those who are struggling with depression and suicide, ask God to show you those who are struggling this month. Ask Him for wisdom as you seek out the hurting.
Header Photo Courtesy of Лечение Наркомании from Pixabay.